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Everything You Need to Know about Vitamin K, C and B Vitamins

Why do you need to know all the information about vitamins? Because they must be included in your diet and in your kids meals in order to maintain your body functions. Instead of searching everywhere for information, here is the best and simplest guide that will help you know everything about three very important vitamins; Vitamin K, C and B vitamins.

1. Vitamin K:
• Physiological role of Vitamin K:
It serves as essential co-factor needed for Pro-thrombin in liver which is responsible for normal clotting mechanism of blood.
• Sources of Vitamin K:
1. K1: Dietary sources as fresh dark green leafy vegetables.
2. K2: Synthesized by bacteria flora of the human intestine.
3. K3: Synthetic preparation for therapeutic uses.
• Clinical Effects:
A) Deficiency of Vitamin K:
1. Prolonged clotting time.
2. Defective coagulation.
3. Increased tendency for bleeding.


B) Excess Vitamin K:
It is dangerous in pregnant women who are taking large amounts of Vitamin K as they may deliver an infant with haemolytic anaemia.
• Therapeutic uses of Vitamin K:
1. bleeding of the new-born.
2. Premature new-born.
3. Biliary obstruction and mal-absorption.

2. Vitamin C:
• Physiological role:
1. Formation of the matrix of tissues as connective tissue, osteoid tissue, dentine of the teeth and capillary endothelium.
2. Vitamin C facilitates the intestinal absorption of iron.
3. It is involved in folic acid metabolism.
• Clinical effects:
a) Deficiency: vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy which is characterized by the following:
1. Weakness.
2. Irritability.
3. Weight loss.
4. Failure of wound healing.
5. Haemorrhagic manifestations.
b) Excess:
Large doses of ascorbic acid have been associated with hypoglycaemia and impaired bactericidal activity of white blood cells.
• Sources of Vitamin C:
1. Citrus fruits and juices.
2. Green vegetables (Raw or minimally cooked).
3. Guava and berries.
• Recommended daily intake of vitamin C:
1. Adult: 60 mg per day.
2. Pregnant women: 80 mg per day.
3. Lactating mother: 100 mg per day

3. B vitamins:
• Sources of B vitamins:
1. Dietary: Yeast, germ of cereals, nuts, beans, peas, meat, organ meat, green leafy vegetables and dairy products. The highly refined flour and polished white rice are deficient in B vitamins.
2. Biosynthesis of B vitamins by intestinal bacteria flora.
3. Biosynthesis of niacin (type of B vitamins) from tryptophan (niacin precursor) from animal protein foods.
• Types of B vitamins:
1. Thiamine (B1):
A. Deficiency of it causes Beriberi disease which has two types; wet type with cardiovascular manifestations and dry type with nervous manifestations.
B. Recommended daily intake of it is 1.2 mg for males and 0.9 mg for females.
C. It works as a co-enzyme that is essential for carbohydrate metabolism.
2. Riboflavin (B2):
A. Deficiency of it causes angular stomatitis, dermatitis and cornel vascularization.
B. Recommended daily intake is 1.8 mg for males and 1.3 mg for females.
C. It works as a co-enzyme.
3. Niacin:
A. Deficiency of it causes pellagra.
B. Recommended daily intake of it is 20 mg for males and 15 mg for females.
C. It works as a co-enzyme in oxidation and reduction reactions and in lowering low density lipoproteins and increasing high density lipoprotein.
4. Pyridoxine (B6):
A. Deficiency of it causes peripheral neuritis, skin lesions and stomatitis.
B. Recommended daily intake of it is 2 mg for males and 1.5 mg for females.
C. It works as a co-enzyme in amino acid metabolism.
5. Folic acid:
A. Deficiency of it causes anaemia. Deficiency during pregnancy may lead to congenital malformations.
B. Recommended daily intake of it is 200 UG for males and 400 UG for pregnant females.
C. It is essential for formation of nucleoprotein which is necessary for the normal maturation of RBCs in the bone marrow.
6. Cyano-Cobalamin (B12):
A. Deficiency of it causes pernicious anaemia and nervous manifestations.
B. Recommended daily intake of it is 3 UG for adults.
C. It is essential for carbohydrates, fat and amino acid metabolism.